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Author Topic: What it is 'n' what it ain't.  (Read 87017 times)

opgr

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2013, 07:07:52 AM »

I donít quite grasp how you can manage, comfortably, to straddle both camps.

Because to me "alright" signifies redundancy as it doesn't particularly change the meaning. I presume that words like "already" and "always" have gone through a similar change. With the increased speed of communication, it is obviously preferable to remove redundancy first, before sacrificing meaning.

However, I do get your point about it not being slang, and I would certainly frown upon any teacher trying to defend the new spelling, even when notified of the error.

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Bryan Conner

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2013, 07:18:06 AM »

Rob, the meanings haven't been altered; the problem is growing ignorance of the meanings. We're dealing with generations who are "laying on the couch." What they're laying isn't clear. These are the same people who think the past tense of "sink" is "sunk." (I even saw that one in the Wall Street Journal a couple days ago.) It's the same bunch who believe it makes sense to say: "It begs the question, 'who done it?'" Several generations are involved because a couple generations back teachers joined the crowd, and it's been going on for a long time. When I was on active duty as a unit commander I'd have to review effectiveness reports written by the officers working for me. Again and again I'd run across the phrase: "The enormity of what this man has done. . ." or its equivalent. I'd suggest they look up the meaning of the word and see if that's really the word they want to use. I'd get blank stares.

It's going to get worse before it gets better.

Maybe you need to correct the Oxford University Press. The Oxford Dictionary states that both sank snd sunk are the past forms of sink.   http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/sink
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Jaffy

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2013, 07:59:24 AM »

"It sank"
"It was sunk"

"four candles please"!
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hjulenissen

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2013, 08:00:19 AM »

Rob, the meanings haven't been altered; the problem is growing ignorance of the meanings. We're dealing with generations who ...
I just read Bill Brysons "Made in America", a fascinating read on how US English diverged from proper English (and how the language spoken and written in the UK today occasionally has diverged even more), and with it a lot of US history. Especially interesting for one whose English is just a second language.

Language seems to constantly evolve, borrow, break down, re-form in such a way that those who speak it at any time and place tries to make it "work" for them. If the distinction between "sink" and "sunk" serves no apparent purpose for those who use them, it is only to expect that they will merge over time, no matter what gray-haired academics might think.

-h
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 08:07:51 AM by hjulenissen »
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Rob C

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2013, 08:59:14 AM »

"It sank"
"It was sunk"


"four candles please"!



Past tense v. past participle, maybe? Anyway, the two uses are distinct and not interchangeable.


Rob C
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 09:01:45 AM by Rob C »
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Bryan Conner

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #25 on: February 17, 2013, 10:09:32 AM »



Past tense v. past participle, maybe? Anyway, the two uses are distinct and not interchangeable.


Rob C

In modern English (whatever that is) sank is past simple and sunk is the past participle.  But historically both sank and sunk are past simple.  The Oxford Dictionary I linked above give an example: the boat sank   and    the boat sunk.   Language is a wonderful thing!  Languages are always changing and morphing.  What is incorrect today may be accepted as being correct in the future.  It surely has happened in the past...many times.
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2013, 10:13:52 AM »

My personal pet peeve, which appears often in the LuLa forum, is the use of the verb "loose" when the writer means "lose." Adding an extra "o" surely doesn't simplify the word, and since the two words have entirely different meanings in English, their misuse does nothing to improve communication.

[/rant]
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Bryan Conner

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2013, 10:23:23 AM »

My personal pet peeve, which appears often in the LuLa forum, is the use of the verb "loose" when the writer means "lose." Adding an extra "o" surely doesn't simplify the word, and since the two words have entirely different meanings in English, their misuse does nothing to improve communication.

[/rant]


This is one of my pet peeves too.  Why don't people make the same mistake with choose and chose?
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2013, 10:51:29 AM »

This is one of my pet peeves too.  Why don't people make the same mistake with choose and chose?
Well, I for one chose not to.

And I still choose not to.   :D
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Rob C

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2013, 01:04:51 PM »

Well, I for one chose not to.

And I still choose not to.   :D



Helps illustrate the problem I mentioned earlier about people who can use the word that sounds correct but have no idea how to spell it.

Did Eric chews not to choose, I wonder?

Rob C

RSL

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #30 on: February 17, 2013, 01:59:57 PM »

Maybe you need to correct the Oxford University Press. The Oxford Dictionary states that both sank snd sunk are the past forms of sink.   http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/sink

Right Bryan, they're past "forms," but one's simple past tense and the other's past perfect. There's a difference. Yesterday it sank (action was going on). Now it's sunk (action complete. no more action).

Now it's true that the Brits may have a different approach, but in the U.S. using past perfect for simple past tense is flat wrong. Reason I know is that my mom was a high school English teacher. But of course that was in the days when English teachers knew the difference.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 02:05:21 PM by RSL »
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Bryan Conner

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #31 on: February 18, 2013, 01:25:51 AM »

Right Bryan, they're past "forms," but one's simple past tense and the other's past perfect. There's a difference. Yesterday it sank (action was going on). Now it's sunk (action complete. no more action).

Now it's true that the Brits may have a different approach, but in the U.S. using past perfect for simple past tense is flat wrong. Reason I know is that my mom was a high school English teacher. But of course that was in the days when English teachers knew the difference.

In your sentence "Yesterday it sank", sankis a verb.  In your sentence "Now it's sunk", the verb is is and sunk is an adjective not a verb.  I am an English teacher now and I know the difference.  ;D
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kencameron

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #32 on: February 18, 2013, 01:59:20 AM »

  In your sentence "Now it's sunk", the verb is is and sunk is an adjective not a verb. 
So would it be wrong to say "it has sunk" as one might  say "has exploded", and if one did say that would "sunk" and "exploded" be adjectives? I would think of  "has exploded" and "has sunk" as forms of the verb as I would think of "will explode" or indeed "will have exploded" or "will have sunk". But then, I am an English major, and so I like to complicate things.
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Ken Cameron

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #33 on: February 18, 2013, 02:07:54 AM »

My personal pet peeve ...
[/rant]


Which raises -- not begs -- the question, what is your pet (language misuse) peeve?  Surely "begs the question" in place of "raises the question."  The former is a logical fallacy in which the speaker assumes the truth of a premise by simple assertion.
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Bryan Conner

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #34 on: February 18, 2013, 02:23:39 AM »

So would it be wrong to say "it has sunk" as one might  say "has exploded", and if one did say that would "sunk" and "exploded" be adjectives?

Your two examples are in the present perfect tense...as I am sure you know.  Therefore, sunk and exploded are not adjectives, they are past participles.  Is sunk would be present simple and sunk would be an adjective.


I would think of  "has exploded" and "has sunk" as forms of the verb as I would think of "will explode" or indeed "will have exploded" or "will have sunk". But then, I am an English major, and so I like to complicate things.

Correct.


  "Has exploded" and "has sunk" are present perfect, and sunk and exploded are past participles, not adjectives.  Therefore all are correct.
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Rob C

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #35 on: February 18, 2013, 05:26:20 AM »

Which raises -- not begs -- the question, what is your pet (language misuse) peeve?  Surely "begs the question" in place of "raises the question."  The former is a logical fallacy in which the speaker assumes the truth of a premise by simple assertion.





Those I don't like, but can easily forgive (if I'm not hungry at the time); another one that really bugs me is the split infinitve: it's so damned simple to avoid.

Oddly, it doesn't offend me in colloquial usage at all, if only because my own head is far slower in conversation than in other forms of communication, and so I can't really curse others where I find that I do the same thing...

;-)

Rob C

kencameron

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #36 on: February 18, 2013, 05:56:47 AM »

Ah. So, looking back, when you wrote that "in your sentence "Now it's sunk", the verb is is and sunk is an adjective not a verb" you are referring to the most likely reading of RSL's actual sentence rather than asserting that "it's" in the phrase "it's sunk" is correct only as a contraction of "it is" and would be wrong as a contraction of "it has"?

Ok, ok, I hear the silent screaming. I'll go away now.
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Ken Cameron

WalterEG

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #37 on: February 18, 2013, 05:58:36 AM »

But Rob,

The split infinitive is a heap of horse poop.  It was a somewhat foolhardy attempt by linguistic boffins to impart some classical pretentiousness to English, borrowed from Latin.

And, of course, it must be remembered that even the Romans hardly spoke Latin.

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RSL

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #38 on: February 18, 2013, 07:17:17 AM »

In your sentence "Yesterday it sank", sankis a verb.  In your sentence "Now it's sunk", the verb is is and sunk is an adjective not a verb.  I am an English teacher now and I know the difference.  ;D

You're right of course, Bryan. "Haste makes waste" (and confusion). But the verb "is" isn't there in "now it's sunk." The "s" stands for "has," not "is." The error was to add the word "now." Shouldn't have stuck that in.

Rob C

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #39 on: February 18, 2013, 10:22:36 AM »

But Rob,

The split infinitive is a heap of horse poop.  It was a somewhat foolhardy attempt by linguistic boffins to impart some classical pretentiousness to English, borrowed from Latin.

And, of course, it must be remembered that even the Romans hardly spoke Latin.





Hmmm.... can't say that I agree about it being pretension, because the effect is to create complicated verbs out of things that are really only part verb, though I do agree about the Romans. They hardly spoke at all: settled it all with swords, nets and tridents stolen off statues in public squares.

There's a statue at Paisley Cross (not Park - what was Prince's connection or obsession with the town?), down a level to where the public loos are/used to be, that always caught my eye: a buxom lady who always looked in need of a good bra. Especially when it snowed. Unlike the Romans of the era, I would have added to her wardrobe rather than stolen from it. In summer, she could have reverted to topless and all would have been well.

Rob C
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